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All you need to know before buying a 2 Carat Diamond
With the average carat weight being 0.9 to 1.2 carat for an engagement ring, a two-carat diamond ring is a popular choice for people who can stretch their budget enough to bestow a nice-sized stone.
But what do you need to know before buying one?
Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know, including useful information about diamond pricing and optimal color and clarity grades. Whether you’re just starting your research or are ready to buy, read on for all the information you need about two-carat diamonds!
- Diamond carat weight does not equal diamond size
- The size of a two carat diamonds
- Optimal clarity grades for a 2 carat diamond engagement ring
- Optimal diamond color grade for a two carat diamonds
- Ideal cut grad for two carat diamonds
- How to make a 2-carat diamond look larger than it is
- Diamond prices for a 2 carat loose diamond (natural and lab grown diamonds)
- Where to buy 2 carat diamond engagement rings
2 Carat Diamond Summary
- A 2-carat diamond ring is considered large when compared to the average engagement ring size of 0.9 – 1.2 carats
- However, two diamonds of the same carat weight can vary in size, as some diamonds have more depth, while others tend to have a larger surface area
- Certain tricks can help you to make a 2-carat (or any) diamond appear larger than it is (e.g., choosing a small wedding band)
- 2-carat diamonds are pretty expensive, ranging from $7,500 to $50,000; however, you can save money if you choose the optimal clarity and color grade (recommendations in this article)
- The best places to shop for 2-carat diamonds are James Allen and Blue Nile
Diamond Carat is NOT Synonymous with Diamond Size
Most people think that the term “diamond carat” is the same as “diamond size,” which is not true. In actuality, a diamond’s weight is measured in carats, not the size. The carat weight does not necessarily affect how large the diamond’s table surface is, its depth, or anything else about the shape. So, a higher carat diamond is not necessarily larger.
The size of a diamond is all about its visual appearance, how it looks. For example, if you compare two diamonds with the same carat weight, one’s oval-shaped, and the other is a brilliant round cut, the oval-shaped diamond will look larger due to the elongated shape. Take a look at the two diamonds below:
Various aspects of a diamond, like the depth and surface area, will affect its size. Any two diamonds with the same carat weight will often appear in different sizes due to their cut quality and shape. You can see an example of two two-carat diamonds with different sizes below:
Compared to Most Engagement rings, is a 2-Carat Diamond Considered Large?
Many people with a lower budget aim for a one-carat diamond but eventually pick a slightly lighter diamond as there is a significant price difference. If you can afford it, you can never go wrong by buying a diamond ring that weighs at least two carats.
Take a look at the diamond simulator above from James Allen, and you can see what a bigger stone would look like.
Or, in case you are on a phone, try out their virtual ring-try-on, where you can upload a picture of your fiancee-to-be’s hand. Just click on the icon in the bottom right as shown in the picture below:
Optimal Clarity Grade for a large diamond
A diamond’s clarity refers to how many inclusions and blemishes exist in the stone.
Because a 2-carat diamond tends to be quite large, you must inspect the diamond carefully before purchasing. That’s because if you compare a 1-carat diamond side-by-side with a 2-carat diamond-shaped the same, the flat top surface (table) of the 2-carat stone will likely be larger. Hence there is a bigger chance that inclusions are visible to the naked eye.
That’s why I recommend aiming for at least a VS1 clarity grade. It’s also possible to find an eye-clean 2-carat diamond with a clarity grade of VS2. But you definitely will have to invest some time.
Below, I’m listing two examples of 2-carat diamonds that have a VS2-clarity grade and are eye-clean:
An eye-clean diamond with a low grade may look no different than a flawless diamond. However, the lower graded diamond will be available at a much lower price.
The Perfect Diamond Color Grade for a Large Diamond
The GIA grades color on a scale that runs from D to Z, with D being the clearest or the most colorless. Z color-graded diamonds have a noticeable yellowish or brownish tint.
Although it may be almost impossible to distinguish between diamonds of differing color grades, they will have vastly different prices. A D-color diamond, for example, will always come at a premium price, whereas you can save quite a bit of money with an H-diamond.
Since it is so difficult to see differences in the color grades of diamonds, you can often choose a relatively low color grade.
Keep in mind that the goal is for the diamond to look still white against its setting. For example, a K color diamond may look white when set in an 18k yellow gold or rose gold setting but shows a hint of color in an 18k white gold or platinum setting. If your diamond has a low color grade, you’ll benefit from a darker ring setting.
Generally, for a 2-carat diamond for an engagement ring, I recommend that you consider diamonds ranging in color from G to I. These are nearly colorless and appear just as colorless as colorless diamonds ranging from D to F. So you can get them for a much lower price.
Optimal cut grade
The cut is the most critical factor for a diamond’s appearance. That’s why I always recommend going for the highest cut grade possible, no matter the diamond size.
How to make a 2-carat diamond look larger than it is
As you already know, carat does not refer to the visible size but the weight of a diamond.
Depending on the cut and shape, two diamonds of the same carat weight can look very different in size.
For example, brilliant round diamonds will always look smaller than other diamond shapes. As a rule of thumb, most fancy-shaped diamonds, such as princess cut diamonds, marquise, pear, oval, and emerald diamonds, will always look larger than a brilliant round cut.
Furthermore, the diamond appears larger when you choose a ring band that is relatively slender, no matter the cut. A small ring band will make the center stone look bigger than a wider band.
Another trick that can make a huge difference is having a center diamond surrounded by two smaller diamonds. While solitaire diamond engagement rings are the classic choice, they make the stone look the biggest.
That said, there’s nothing wrong with choosing a traditional round diamond as a center stone in a solitaire ring. A 2-carat diamond will look larger than most other diamonds in any engagement ring.
How Much Do 2-Carat Loose Diamonds Cost (natural and lab grown diamonds)?
The price tag on a diamond engagement results from many different factors. Cut, color, and clarity grade, among other parameters, all factor into how much a diamond costs.
That said, the price range for two-carat diamonds spans from $7,500 to $50,000. If you are considering a lab-created diamond, prices will range from $4,000 to $13,000.
The higher the quality of the diamond, the more expensive it will be. Other factors that don’t directly impact the diamonds’ quality, such as the diamond shape, also affect its price. For example, round diamonds are typically more expensive than a princess cut diamond.
Here are two examples, with one being on the lower end of the scale and one on the higher end:
Here you can find a couple of examples of some stunning 2 carat diamond engagement rings. Can you guess how much each of them costs?
Where to Buy a 2-Carat Diamond Ring?
If you are looking to buy an engagement ring with a size of a 2-carat diamond, then I highly recommend you choose an online vendor over a common brick and mortar store. One reason is that online vendors can sell you diamonds of the same quality for less due to lower overhead costs. You are able to find high-quality diamonds at wholesale prices.
Furthermore, you will be able to inspect each diamond thoroughly thanks to 360-degree high-resolution videos. Currently, the only two vendors who provide a high enough picture resolution are James Allen and Blue Nile. Both vendors carry diamonds in various sizes and cuts.
No matter which cut you choose in a 2-carat diamond, a round-cut diamond, a princess cut diamond, pear cut, or emerald cut will make for a stunning diamond if you’re shopping for an engagement ring. Thanks to its sparkle and significant size, your diamond ring will attract a lot of attention.
If your budget allows, I recommend that you opt for a diamond with a color grade of at least VS1. Otherwise, inclusions and blemishes will be invisible to the naked eye. If you are willing to invest the time, you can try to find a VS2 diamond with inclusions near the edges of the diamond—that way, the prongs of the ring setting might cover the flaws.
Speaking of color, I strongly recommend selecting a diamond within the nearly colorless range of G to I. On a white gold or platinum setting, diamonds in this range will look just as colorless as those in the D to F range but will cost much less. If you consider buying a yellow gold setting, you can choose a lower color grade.